Commission tells Craven to wait on fund request
Sheriff Ronnie Craven will have to wait another two weeks to learn the fate of a $56,867 supplementary budget request he faced Jackson County Commissioners with Tuesday.
Craven pared down $9,784 from the original $66,651 request he informed commissioners on Jan. 5 he needed in order to comply with stringent judicial reform provisions. He was told Tuesday to come back at the next session in two weeks for an answer from the board.
The new sheriff had placed the commission on notice that he would need the extras funds to comply with regulations and adequately patrol the county. Later, he informed the board he was bypassing them and asking the State Board of Appeals to approve the funds. That state entity rejected the emergency nature of Craven’s request and advised him to formally ask the county commission.
Herman Larramore, legal counsel for the sheriff’s department, pleaded Craven’s cause before the board, asserting it was impossible for the department to adequately patrol the county under the current budget. He added that judicial reform requirements made it mandatory to hire booking officers, jail matrons, and extra personnel to care for alcoholics and mentally ill persons.
Larramore reported deputies were working 12 hours a day and had had only two days off per man during the 45 days since Craven took office. The attorney handed out forms comparing Jackson County’s budget of $207,000 per year, 950 square miles, and 35,000 population, with sheriff’s department budgets in comparable size counties in the state. In that list was Martin County, with a 29,665 population, 559 square miles and a budget of $890,000.
Commissioner Elton Andreasen of Marianna indicated approval of the request, but others appeared reluctant. Commissioner Fred Williams said he wanted to “wait and see what the people want,” adding he wanted to check with the leadership of the county.
“We’re the leadership,” observed Commissioner Don Price, “right around this table.” — Jackson County Floridan, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 1973
First sewer loans issued
The Florida Pollution Control Board issued more than $13 million in sewer loans Tuesday, making the first use of a $100 million emergency loan fund created by the Legislature.
The first loans went to Port St. Joe and the Loxahatchee River Environmental Control District. Both will be used to build new sewer plants to comply with a state law requiring 90 percent treatment of all wastes. — Jackson County Floridan, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 1973